Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Wowee Wednesday

Michael Jackson Many years ago when his personal life started to eclipse his professional life, I decided that I wanted to remember the wonderful memories I had of Michael Jackson before he became the punchline of jokes and a defendant in court. So it seems fitting that my Wowee Wednesday will celebrate the Michael Jackson that changed music and video for my generation.

One of my first LP's as a teenager was "Off the Wall" which of course was Michael's solo venture and it gave us only a taste of what was to come. Many argue that this release was equally as important as "Thriller". Take a look at the track list and you may feel the same. By the time "Thriller" was released most of America was hooked, or at least intrigued, and the awesome career of the cute little frontman of The Jackson 5 had been launched.

We all had Michael wannabees in high school. I remember everything from the skinny black guy who really could have been a double, to the awkward white kid who just couldn't leave that single white glove at home. Admit least once you've tried the dance steps and belted your best "Billie Jean". At one time we were all a little enamoured. Back before the media ruined everything with a "Sneak Peek" at a world premier, we sat with mouths agape as Michael moonwalked across the stage at the Motown 25 celebration. Watching that was a wonderful surprise moment in television history. It was Michael at his best. The next day at school the cafeteria was filled with kids practicing the famous moves. I imagine high schools across America had similar scenes.

The stir that Michael made with that Motown performance was nothing compared to the elated eruption after the groundbreaking "Thriller" video premiered. At the top of every hour for the entire day, MTV played "Thriller" and it was the most awesome thing ever. Just think of it: 15 minutes of entertainment followed by 45 minutes to recuperate, practice dance moves, and eat some Cheetos or a Steak-umm sandwhich. Heaven.
I'd love to talk to our former teachers and find out just how manageable we all were the next day!
One of my favorite features Michael did was a 3D movie called "Captain EO" that played at Disney's Epcot. It was, at the time, the best 3D venture available and well worth the wait time in line. It was groundbreaking as well, just like everything Michael lent his name and expertise to. These are just a few of my memories and I have played them over in my mind during the past week. Things may have gone awry personally, his life became a bit of a circus, and he is mocked endlessly for his cosmetic choices, but behind all that is the boy who altered our musical landscape for the good. Nothing can change that.

Thank you, Michael.

1 comment:

Bren said...

You put my thoughts into words very eloquently. Thank you, my friend.